Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

October 24, 2014
Decrease of genetic diversity in the endangered Saimaa ringed seal continues
The critically endangered Saimaa ringed seal, which inhabits Lake Saimaa in Finland, has extremely low genetic diversity and this development seems to continue, according to a recent study completed at the University of Eastern Finland.

Ambitious EU targets for renewable energies make economic sense
Even beyond the year 2020 European energy policy will require ambitious expansion targets for renewables but also scope for their national implementation.

Climate change impacts countered by stricter fisheries management
A new study has found that implementing stricter fisheries management overcame the expected detrimental effects of climate change disturbances in coral reef fisheries badly impacted by the 1997/98 El Niño, according to the Wildlife Conservation Society.

An imperial honor
Emperor Akihito will present the Order of Culture Medal to Shuji Nakamura at a ceremony at the Imperial Palace on November 3.

A new dent in HIV-1's armor
Salk scientists identify a promising target for HIV/AIDS treatment.

Ebola's evolutionary roots are more ancient than previously thought, study finds
A new study is helping to rewrite Ebola's family history.

New study finds options for climate change policy are well characterized
Policy options for climate change risk management are straightforward and have well understood strengths and weaknesses, according to a new study by the American Meteorological Society Policy Program.

US Navy awards $8 million to develop wave, tidal energy technology
The University of Washington was awarded an $8 million, four-year contract to develop marine renewable energy technologies appropriate for naval facilities.

For brain hemorrhage, risk of death is lower at high-volume hospitals
For patients with a severe type of stroke called subarachnoid hemorrhage, treatment at a hospital that treats a high volume of subarachnoid hemorrhage cases is associated with a lower risk of death, reports a study in the November issue of Neurosurgery, official journal of the Congress of Neurological Surgeons.

Volunteer guidelines for clinicians in the ebola epidemic
A consortium of Boston-based hospitals has prepared a set of guidelines, titled 'Sign Me Up: Rules of the Road for Humanitarian Volunteers during the Ebola Outbreak'.

New compounds reduce debilitating inflammation
Six Case Western Reserve scientists are part of an international team that has discovered two compounds that show promise in decreasing inflammation associated with diseases such as ulcerative colitis, arthritis and multiple sclerosis.

Clues to genetics of congenital heart defects emerge from Down syndrome study
The largest genetic study of congenital heart defects in individuals with Down syndrome found a connection to rare, large genetic deletions affecting cilia.

Some like it loud
Species of poison frogs that utilize bright warning coloration as protection from predators are more likely to develop louder, more complex calls than relatives that rely on camouflage.

NASA sees Tropical Storm Ana still vigorous
NASA's TRMM satellite saw that Tropical Storm Ana was still generating moderate rainfall is it pulled away from Hawaii.

Butler researcher aims to broaden understanding of gamma knife radiosurgery for OCD
Supported by a $750,000 K23 Career Development Award from the National Institutes of Health, Butler Hospital neuropsychologist Nicole McLaughlin, Ph.D., is conducting a first-of-its-kind study of patients with obsessive-compulsive disorder undergoing gamma knife radiosurgery.

One drop will do: UBC researchers develop simple new test for vitamin B12 deficiency
Researchers at the University of British Columbia have developed a novel method to test for vitamin B12 deficiency that is sensitive enough to work on anyone, including newborn babies and large swaths of the general population.

New hope for drug discovery in African sleeping sickness
The neglected trop­ical dis­ease affects tens of thou­sands of people and is mostly fatal.

New Alzheimer's Association research grants fund multiple investigations of non-drug treatments
As millions of baby boomers are entering the age of greatest risk for Alzheimer's disease, many recent late-stage drug trials have produced negative results.

Receiving gossip about others promotes self-reflection and growth
Why are individuals interested in hearing gossip about others' achievements and failures?

Emergent behavior lets bubbles 'sense' environment
Tiny, soapy bubbles can reorganize their membranes to let material flow in and out in response to the surrounding environment, according to researchers at UC Davis and Nanyang Technological University in Singapore.

Liquid helium offers a fascinating new way to make charged molecules
A University of Leicester chemist was involved in a 'startling' new discovery.

New findings will improve the sex lives of women with back problems
Newly published findings from the University of Waterloo are giving women with bad backs renewed hope for better sex lives.

Psychologists awarded £250,000 to delve inside the minds of contemporary dancers
The mental imagery and preparation used by performers to push the boundaries of contemporary dance is to be analysed in a study led by Plymouth University.

UTSW assistant professor chosen for $1.5 million Data-Driven Discovery award from Gordon
Dr. Kimberly Reynolds, Assistant Professor in the Cecil H. and Ida Green Comprehensive Center for Molecular, Computational, and Systems Biology and in the Department of Biophysics at University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, has been named one of 14 Moore Investigators in Data-Driven Discovery.

Cat dentals fill you with dread?
A survey published this year found that over 50 percent of final year veterinary students in the UK do not feel confident either in discussing orodental problems with clients or in performing a detailed examination of the oral cavity of their small animal patients.

Li-ion batteries contain toxic halogens, but environmentally friendly alternatives exist
Physics researchers at VCU have discovered that most of the electrolytes used in lithium-ion batteries -- commonly found in consumer electronic devices -- are superhalogens, and that the vast majority of these electrolytes contain toxic halogens.

NASA identifies ice cloud above cruising altitude on Titan
NASA scientists have identified an unexpected high-altitude methane ice cloud on Saturn's moon Titan that is similar to exotic clouds found far above Earth's poles.

New 'Surveyman' software promises to revolutionize survey design and accuracy
Doctoral student Emma Tosch of University of Massachusetts Amherst School of Computer Science won a Best Paper award this week at the premier international computer programming language design conference in Portland, Ore., for her work on 'Surveyman,' a first-of-its-kind software system for designing, deploying and automatically debugging surveys to improve their accuracy and trustworthiness.

Icelandic volcano sits on massive magma hot spot
New research from University of California Davis and Aarhus University in Denmark shows that high mantle temperatures miles beneath the Earth's surface are essential for generating large amounts of magma.

Medical costs for stroke survivors stay high 10 years on
New data shows that healthcare and personal costs to support survivors of stroke remains high 10 years on.

​NTU and UNESCO to create mini-lab kits for youths in developing countries
NTU is partnering the United Nations Organisation for Education, Science and Culture to create mini-laboratory kits for students in high schools and colleges with limited resources or without proper laboratories.

Global boom in hydropower expected this decade
An unprecedented boom in hydropower dam construction is underway, primarily in developing countries and emerging economies.

New methods for maintaining the quality of minimally processed potatoes for 14 days
A graduate in Food Science and Technology has proposed alternatives to the use of sulphites in potatoes, one of the main preservatives currently used and which, among other properties, prevents the browning that appears after peeling and/or cutting certain foods.

Children's Hospital Los Angeles receives $1 million grant from Autism Speaks
Pat Levitt, Ph.D., Simms/Mann Chair in Developmental Neurogenetics at Children's Hospital Los Angeles, has received a grant of nearly $1 million from Autism Speaks, the world's leading autism science and advocacy organization.

CDC charges Johns Hopkins to lead development of Ebola training module
Johns Hopkins Medicine has been tasked by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to lead a group and to design an interactive Web-based learning program that guides health care workers, nurses and physicians through government-approved protocols to aid clinicians as they provide care to patients who may be at risk of contracting the Ebola virus.

NJIT hosts the NJ mayors' Summit on Resilient Design
Local mayors and state and federal experts will gather at New Jersey Institute of Technology to discuss how the state has recovered from two of the worst natural disasters ever to hit New Jersey: Hurricanes Sandy and Irene.

UT Dallas team infuses science into 'Minecraft' modification
The 3-D world of the popular 'Minecraft' video game just became more entertaining, perilous and educational, thanks to a comprehensive code modification kit, 'Polycraft World,' created by UT Dallas professors, students and alumni

Relationships benefit when parents and adult children use multiple communication channels
University of Kansas research has found that found that adult children's relationship satisfaction with their parents is modestly influenced by the number of communication tools, such as cell phones, email, social networking sites, they use to communicate.

Molecular beacons shine light on how cells 'crawl'
Chemists have devised a method using DNA-based tension probes to zoom in at the molecular level and measure and map how cells mechanically sense their environments, migrate and adhere to things.

Three-dimensional metamaterials with a natural bent
In a significant breakthrough, published in Advanced Optical Materials, scientists from RIKEN, in collaboration with colleagues from ITRC, NARLabs in Taiwan, have succeeded in creating a large metamaterial, up to 4 mm x 4 mm2 in size, that is essentially isotropic, using a type of metamaterial element called a split-ring resonator.

Climate change caused by ocean, not just atmosphere, new Rutgers study finds
Most of the concerns about climate change have focused on the amount of greenhouse gases that have been released into the atmosphere.

Satellite catches lingering remnants of Tropical Depression 9
NOAA's GOES-East satellite has been keeping an eye on the remnants of Tropical Depression 9.

UTSW researchers receive CPRIT funding to expand genetic screening program
Genetic screening services for rural and underserved populations will expand from six to 22 counties in North Texas under a $1.5 million grant from the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas to University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center.

Prognostic factors identified for peripheral squamous cell carcinomas of the lung
A better survival outcome is associated with low blood levels of squamous cell carcinoma antigen, or absence of tumor invasion either into the space between the lungs and chest wall or into blood vessels of individuals with a peripheral squamous cell carcinoma, a type of non-small cell lung cancer.

RIT student wins coveted SMART Scholarship from Department of Defense
Kyle Crompton, a doctoral student at the Rochester Institute of Technology, was recently awarded a prestigious SMART scholarship from the U.S.

Hinode satellite captures X-ray footage of solar eclipse
The moon passed between the Earth and the sun on Thursday, Oct.

Shutting off blood supply to an extremity to protect the heart
Shutting off the blood supply to an arm or a leg before cardiac surgery protects the heart during the operation.

Powerful new software plug-in detects bugs in spreadsheets
An effective new data-debugging software tool dubbed 'CheckCell' was released to the public this week in a presentation by University of Massachusetts Amherst computer science doctoral student Daniel Barowy.

University of Utah health care ranks among best academic medical centers
The award signifies a top-10 finish in UHC's prestigious quality and safety rankings, a comparison of teaching hospitals based on quality measures, patient safety and satisfaction indictors, mortality rates and readmissions.

Ebola virus: Update on research in France
With the current situation of the Ebola epidemic, it quickly became necessary for French research to be mobilised rapidly.

APIC Ebola readiness survey findings
Only 6 percent of US hospitals are well-prepared to receive a patient with the Ebola virus, according to a survey of infection prevention experts at US hospitals conducted Oct.

Endurance athletes at risk of swimming-induced pulmonary edema
Endurance athletes taking part in triathlons are at risk of the potentially life-threatening condition of swimming-induced pulmonary edema.

Scientists engineer toxin-secreting stem cells to treat brain tumors
Harvard Stem Cell Institute scientists at Massachusetts General Hospital have devised a new way to use stem cells in the fight against brain cancer.

Law of the Sea authorizes animal tagging research without nations' consent
Scientists who study migratory marine animals can rarely predict where the animals' paths will lead.

Startups should seek quality -- not quantity -- in partnerships, study finds
When partnering with larger companies, startups with a small number of carefully chosen alliances will reap the most benefits, according to new research from the University at Buffalo School of Management.

Growing a blood vessel in a week
The technology for creating new tissues from stem cells has taken a giant leap forward.
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